Michael Lewis Qualifies Solidly For USAC Midget & Sprint Events In Orlando ORLANDO, Fla. (12-02-2005) - - Noblesville, Indiana native Michael Lewis qualified solidly for both the Sprint and Midget series in preparation for Friday night's First...
Michael Lewis Qualifies Solidly For USAC Midget & Sprint Events In Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. (12-02-2005) - - Noblesville, Indiana native Michael Lewis qualified solidly for both the Sprint and Midget series in preparation for Friday night's First Annual "Mopar-PRI Sprint & Midget Classic" at Orlando Speedway in Orlando, Florida.
Lewis qualified 12th in his No. 40 Western Speed machine with a time of 13.471 seconds in the midget series, while Michael pulled together a fast lap of 13.590 seconds in the sprint series good enough for 13th on the starting grid. By qualifying inside the top-14 Thursday evening, Lewis won't have to participate in Friday's "last chance" event for Friday's main attraction in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry trade show located for the first time in Orlando this year.
"We qualified for the main features on time and that's important," said Michael Lewis. "But, the cars are not just as fast as I would like them to be. I just can't get the cars to handle right. I have full confidence in my racing crew and I'm sure by the time the races roll around, we'll be good to go."
For the first time in his career, Michael will compete at Orlando Speedway. "The track is tricky, that's for sure," explained one of most upcoming young-guns in Motorsports. "It's really hard to get a grip and it's a little bit difficult on the handling. However, just like any other track, the more time you get on the racing surface, you adapt and catch on."
It's a big weekend for the Western Speed team as one of the most respected teams on the USAC tour will have three drivers competing in the Midget Series event. Teammates Billy Wease (No. 80) and Bobby Santos, III (No. 60) sandwiched Lewis, as they qualified 11th and 13th respectively. "It would be great to have a 1-2-3 finish for our Western Speed team on Friday night. There are a lot of people putting on this show and with other drivers like Tracy Hines, Bobby East, Dave Steele and Josh Wise all expected to be fast, we're looking to make the most noise on Friday with a good finish for Rick (Gerhardt, owner)."
Bobby Santos, III posted the 15th fastest lap in the Sprint car series which will force the driver of the No. 60 Western Speed machine to compete in the "final chance" event. If everything goes as planned, Santos, III will join Lewis for the Sprint car event putting two entries for Western Speed Racing in the 40 lap main feature.
Western Speed Racing, Wirtgen Group America, Hoosier Tire, Esslinger Engineering, CMKXtreme.com, MPH Enterprises, ASA Speed Truck Challenge and Performance Trailers will all serve as sponsors on Lewis's No. 40 in both series. "I just want to thank all of our sponsors for their support especially in this new event this weekend. We have our goals set high, but I know we can achieve them. We just need a little luck and the wins are ours."
As the 2005 year draws to a close, Michael Lewis has recorded stellar stats. In just 24 races, he captured three fast times, qualified 15 times in the top-five, hustled to six wins, an astounding eleven top-five finishes and an amazing 16 top-ten runs. Lewis also captured the Earl's fast qualifying award for the season in the USAC National Midget Series.
Following this weekend, Michael will head to Covington, Kentucky in early December where he has been invited as a guest to attend the 53rd annual ARCA RE/MAX Series banquet. "I'm really excited about heading to the banquet. It will be a chance to meet some people, and see up close what the series is all about. We're working on some opportunities that could have me racing in a few ARCA events in 2006," Lewis said.
Following the season's conclusion Lewis plans to regroup and plan ahead for the 2006 racing season. Michael Lewis would like to begin a winning and long-lasting career in the stock car industry while continuing to race in the USAC ranks.